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General Purpose Philanthropies David Rockefeller Fund, Inc. The JDR 3rd Fund The Laurance S. Rockefeller Fund Rockefeller Brothers Fund Rockefeller Family Fund The Rockefeller Foundation Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors Sealantic Fund Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation Arts and Restorations Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum American School of Classical Studies at Athens Arts, Education, and Americans, Inc. Colonial Williamsburg Historic Hudson Valley Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts Martha Baird Rockefeller Fund for Music Metropolitan Museum of Art: The Cloisters Michael C. Rockefeller Collection and the Department of Primitive Art Museum of Modern Art Museum of Primitive Art The Wendell Gilley Museum of Bird Carving 1 1 1 1 2 3 3 3 4 4 4 4 4 5 5 6 6 6 6 7 7 7 New York City Partnership Synergos Institute Winrock International Education China Medical Board of New York, Inc. General Education Board International Education Board Rockefeller Archaeological Museum, Jerusalem Spelman College United Negro College Fund University of Chicago The Oriental Institute International Understanding Americas Society Asia Society, Inc. Asian Cultural Council International House, New York. Japan Society, Inc. Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation Trust for Mutual Understanding United Nations Medicine and Public Health International Health Board Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center Rockefeller Sanitary Commission for the Eradication of Hookworm Disease The Rockefeller University Religion Baptist Churches and Schools Riverside Church Union Church of Pocantico Hills Social Welfare Bureau of Social Hygiene, Inc. The Davison Fund, Inc. Fund of the Four Directions Housing Interests Laura Spelman Rockefeller Memorial National Urban League The Population Council Inc. Rockefeller Public Service Award Spelman Fund of New York 12 12 12 12 13 14 14 14 14 15 15 15 16 16 16 17 17 17 18
Conservation and the Environment Acadia National Park 8 American Conservation Association 8 American Farmland Trust 8 Greenacre Foundation 8 Jackson Hole Preserve, Inc. 8 Maine Coast Heritage Trust 9 New York Zoological Society 9 Palisades Interstate Park Commission 9 Rockefeller State Park Preserve 9 Stone Barns Center for Food & Agriculture 10 Economic Development Agricultural Development Council 10 American International Association for Economic and Social Development 10 Downtown-Lower Manhattan Association 11 International Basic Economy Corporation 11 International Executive Service Corps 11
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ohn D. Rockefeller titled a chapter in his 1909 Random Reminiscences of Men and Events “The Difficult Art of Giving,” not because giving was difficult, but because effective giving was an art, a skill that was acquired with time and careful consideration. For all of those who have acquired that skill and who practice that art, as well as for those who study philanthropy and its effects, this booklet will be a useful introduction and guide. In a brief compass it brings to light both the roots and the continuing practice of philanthropy by the Rockefeller family through sketches of the institutions and the fields of endeavor they have created. In many instances the historical information herein presented is readily available primarily because the institutions themselves preserved their records, and thereby made possible the creation of the Rockefeller Archive Center (1974) as a center for research and scholarship. For this booklet, in addition to other sources, Kenneth W. Rose has drawn liberally on the work of the thousands of scholars who have come to the Center to investigate and illuminate the multiple legacies of Rockefeller philanthropy. Therefore, as representation of the vast documentation available at the Archive Center, it is a pleasure to make Select Rockefeller Philanthropies available to you. Darwin H. Stapleton
Executive Director Rockefeller Archive Center October 2004
isitors and researchers at the Rockefeller Archive Center often are surprised to learn of the international scope and the broad range of subjects that have received support from the philanthropy of the Rockefeller family. “Rockefeller philanthropy” is the short-hand term that encompasses both the combined personal charitable gifts of members of the Rockefeller family and the grants awarded by the various philanthropic institutions established by generations of family members. Documents at the Rockefeller Archive Center trace this rich legacy back to 1855, when John D. Rockefeller (1839-1937) first went to work in Cleveland, Ohio, and began to donate part of his earnings to the Baptist church he attended. Rockefeller entered the oil business in the 1860s and in 1870 founded the Standard Oil Company, which grew to dominate the oil industry and made Rockefeller and his partners wealthy men. John D. Rockefeller, Jr. (1874-1960) joined his father’s office in 1897 but soon focused his efforts on philanthropy rather than business and helped his father develop several major institutions in medical science, education, and philanthropy. Together, he and his wife Abby (1874-1948) expanded the Rockefeller philanthropic legacy in new directions, such as art and historic preservation, and passed the family tradition of philanthropic stewardship on to their children – Abby (1903-1976), John 3rd (1906-1978), Nelson (1908-1979), Laurance (1910-2004), Winthrop (1912-1973), and David (b. 1915), known collectively as the Brothers generation. They, in turn, have passed the legacy on to their children, the Cousins, such that four generations of Rockefeller family members have collaborated to establish major foundations – the Rockefeller Foundation (1913), the Rockefeller Brothers Fund (1940) and the Rockefeller Family Fund (1967) – to address the collective concerns of their era, while particular family members also have established their own philanthropic institutions to address issues of concern to them. Select Rockefeller Philanthropies offers a brief introduction to the subject. It reviews some of the highlights of Rockefeller philanthropy, illustrating the range of organizations and causes to which members of the family have given significant support. Originally compiled by Joseph W. Ernst, former Rockefeller Family Archivist and Director Emeritus of the Rockefeller Archive Center, as “Forty-Seven Rockefeller Philanthropies,” this version has been revised and expanded by the staff of the Rockefeller Archive Center. I am grateful to Rockefeller family associate Peter Johnson, Melissa Berman of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, Archive Center intern Laryca Makarczuk, and Margaret Drum for their assistance in preparing this revised edition. Readers interested in further information about the Rockefeller family or the family’s philanthropy should consult the Bibliography on the Rockefeller Family and Their Philanthropies and A Bibliography of Scholarship at the Rockefeller Archive Center, both of which are available online from the Center’s website at http://archive.rockefeller.edu. Ken Rose Assistant Director Rockefeller Archive Center
General Purpose Philanthropies
David Rockefeller Fund, Inc., 1989-present. Established in 1989, the David Rockefeller Fund provides support to charitable and public organizations in communities where David Rockefeller lives: Mt. Desert Island, Maine, and Westchester and Columbia Counties in New York. Its focus is primarily on education, health and social service agencies, community groups, and environmental and preservation organizations. Special emphasis is placed on opportunities to help preserve the character and integrity of these regions. The JDR 3rd Fund, 1963-1979. Established by John D. Rockefeller 3rd in 1963 “to stimulate, encourage, promote and support activities important to human welfare,” its major programs included the Asian Cultural Program to encourage East-West cultural exchange; the Arts in Education program, established in 1967; and a Task Force on Youth, established in 1970 to promote cooperation between American youth activists and leaders in business and the professions. Among the short-term projects undertaken by the Fund were support of the Bicentennial Committee; the teaching of English in Japan; domestic volunteer service in Indonesia; and studies of the impact of private philanthropy on American life. The Fund was dissolved in 1979, but its Asian Cultural Program was continued by a new organization, the Asian Cultural Council (see “International Understanding”). The Laurance S. Rockefeller Fund, 1991-present. The Laurance S. Rockefeller Fund was established in 1991 to provide support to charitable and public organizations that have programs which reflect the charitable interests of its founder, Laurance S. Rockefeller. It has provided funding to a broad range of organizations, including Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Historic Hudson Valley, the World Wildlife Fund, the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the Educational Broadcasting Corporation. Rockefeller Brothers Fund (www.rbf.org/) The Rockefeller Brothers Fund was established in 1940 by the five Rockefeller brothers – John 3rd, Nelson, Winthrop, Laurance, and David (they were later joined by their sister Abby) – to fund projects related to their philanthropic interests. Their father, John D. Rockefeller, Jr., made a substantial gift to the Fund in 1951, and in 1960 the fund received a major bequest from his estate. Together, these gifts constitute the basic endowment of the Fund. The RBF makes grants to local, national, and international organizations that depend on the general public for funds. Contributions to New York institutions have concentrated on such community needs as civic improvement, cultural advancement, education, health, religion, and welfare.
The Fund’s programs also have included support for, and in some instances direct operation of, experimental or new undertakings in such fields as international relations and understanding, strengthened national life, conservation, population, racial equality, and resources in the U.S. and abroad. During 19561960 its Special Studies Project, directed by Harvard professor Henry Kissinger, sought to “define the major problems and opportunities” facing the U.S. at the time, to “clarify national purposes and objectives,” and to develop principles which could serve as the basis of national policy. Its reports were published as Prospect for America: The Rockefeller Panel Reports (1961). Between 1957 and 1962 it undertook a special program in West Africa to provide technical assistance in business development to Togo, Ghana and Nigeria. Since the establishment of the Fund, twenty-six family members representing three generations have served as trustees, along with twenty-four people from outside the family. In its sixty years of grantmaking though the year 2000, the RBF disbursed a total of $525,919,091 in grants. Rockefeller Family Fund (www.rffund.org/) The Rockefeller Family Fund was established in 1967 “to span,” according to its first annual report, “the philanthropic interests of the third and fourth generations of the John D. Rockefeller family” – the Brothers and the Cousins generations. In June 1971 the trustees established five programs in which the Fund would make grants for much of the next decade. Two of the programs – the Arts-Public Aesthetics Program (1971-1977) and the Education Program (1971-1980, 1988-1990) – were short-lived. Three other programs continued, with some revisions, to meet new needs. The Equal Opportunity-Women program was revamped in 1985 and renamed the Economic Justice for Women program. The Conservation Program was renamed the Environment Program in 1986 and given a new emphasis on health as affected by the environment. The Institutional Responsiveness Program, a broad effort that aimed to “build more responsive relationships between individuals and institutions,” remained unchanged. The latter program was led by Robert W. Scrivner, who also served as the Fund’s director from 1972 until his death in 1984. Scrivner was succeeded as the Fund’s director by Donald K. Ross, a lawyer and founder of the New York Public Interest Research Group. By March 1999, when the Family Fund commemorated more than 30 years of grantmaking, fifty-three members of three generations of the Rockefeller family had served on the board.
The Rockefeller Foundation (www.rockfound.org/) John D. Rockefeller established the Foundation in May 1913 “to promote the wellbeing of mankind throughout the world.” From its earliest years, the Foundation has been both a grant-making and a direct operating institution. Major programs have included the China Medical Board (1913-1929, see “Education”) and the International Health Board (1913-1951, see “Medicine and Public Health”), as well as programs to fund projects in the medical sciences, medical education, the natural sciences, nursing, the arts and humanities, and the social sciences. Between 1933 and 1945 the Foundation helped 303 refugee scholars escape from Nazi Germany and occupied nations. During the 1950s and 1960s the Foundation provided significant support for agricultural development, helping to promote what came to be known as the Green Revolution in Latin America and Asia. By the end of 1999, the Rockefeller Foundation had given grants and fellowships totalling $2.89 billion to institutions and individuals around the world. In December 1999 the foundation adopted a new global mission to focus on poor people around the world who have been excluded from the benefits of globalization. Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors (www.rockpa.org) Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors is an independent nonprofit organization that helps donors create thoughtful, effective philanthropy throughout the world. Beginning in 1891, the Rockefeller Family Office developed its own private philanthropic service, often referred to as Room 5600, to advise and manage the philanthropic giving of members of the Rockefeller family. With the creation in 1991 of The Philanthropic Collaborative, a special donor-advised fund, the scope of this service grew to include international grantmaking, donor collaboratives, and fiscal sponsorship. In 2002, this formerly private operation was reorganized as family members separated the philanthropy service from the family office to offer the organization’s expertise to a broader range of donors. Renamed Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, it includes The Philanthropic Collaborative and now works with donors worldwide to develop and manage philanthropic programs that support education, the arts, the environment, health, economic development, and civic affairs. Over the last fifteen years, it has facilitated over $850 million in giving to more than 40 countries. Sealantic Fund, 1938-1973. Founded in 1938 by John D. Rockefeller, Jr., and merged with the Rockefeller Brothers Fund in 1973, the fund was established with broad philanthropic aims. The Fund supported institutions and programs in which its founder took a personal interest, including theological education, interchurch relations, Sleepy Hollow Restorations, and public health and welfare in the Greater New York area.
Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation (www.wrockefellerfoundation.org/) Renamed in December 1974 as the successor to the Rockwin Fund, which had been the means by which Winthrop Rockefeller administered his philanthropy in Arkansas beginning in 1956, the foundation was reorganized to administer an endowment from the Winthrop Rockefeller estate. By 2002 the foundation had made grants totaling more than $51 million to nonprofits and educational institutions in Arkansas.
Arts and Restorations
Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum (www.history.org/history/museums/abby_art.html) Abby Aldrich Rockefeller was a pioneer collector of American folk art, beginning in 1929. An exhibit of her collection in 1932 at the Museum of Modern Art and six other museums helped folk art gain credibility among art historians and critics. In 1935 she loaned her collection to Colonial Williamsburg and gave the collection to the organization in 1939. During the 1950s John D. Rockefeller, Jr. financed the construction of a museum to house the collection, and it opened in 1957. American School of Classical Studies at Athens (www.ascsa.edu.gr/) The school, founded in 1881 and staffed and financed for the most part by people from the U.S., received support from John D. Rockefeller as early as 1902. Under the school’s auspices, extensive archaeological work began in 1931 in the Agora (market place) of ancient Athens, with significant financial support from John D. Rockefeller, Jr., totaling nearly $2.8 million between 1927 and 1958. Arts, Education, and Americans, Inc., 1977-1992. This organization began as the Arts, Education and Americans Panel, a project of the American Council for the Arts in Education. Led by David Rockefeller, Jr., the panel consisted of leading figures in government , the performing arts, business and education. Its purpose was to conduct research to determine the status of the arts in American education in order to develop proposals to integrate the arts into all aspects of school curricula. The panel’s final report, Coming to Our Senses, was issued in May 1977, and that same month Arts, Education and Americans was incorporated to continue the panel’s work as an independent nonprofit organization. Colonial Williamsburg, Inc. (www.colonialwilliamsburg.org/) In 1926, John D. Rockefeller, Jr. began the restoration of the capital of colonial Virginia. One of America’s first planned cities, Williamsburg was little more than a faded Virginia town in the 1920s. Over the next several decades the work
initiated by JDR Jr., along with an evolving interpretive program, made Colonial Williamsburg a major tourist attraction and an important leader in the field of restoration and historic preservation. By the 1970s, largely with the help of the Rockefeller family and later the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, more than 700 modern buildings had been restored, 404 buildings had been reconstructed on their original foundations, and 83 acres of eighteenth-century gardens and greens had been cleared and replanted. Colonial Williamsburg is home to the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum. Historic Hudson Valley (www.hudsonvalley.org/) Historic Hudson Valley was established by John D. Rockefeller, Jr. in 1951 as Sleepy Hollow Restorations, which brought together under one administrative body the management and operation of two historic sites he had acquired: Philipse Castle in North Tarrytown (acquired in 1940 and donated to the Tarrytown Historical Society) and Sunnyside, Washington Irving’s home, acquired in 1945. JDR Jr. bought Van Cortlandt Manor in Croton-on-Hudson in 1953, and in 1959 he donated it to Sleepy Hollow Restorations. In all, JDR Jr. invested more than $12 million in the acquisition and restoration of the three properties that were the core of the organization’s holdings. In 1986, Sleepy Hollow Restorations acquired Montgomery Place, and adopted its current name to reflect its expanded geographic scope. Historic Hudson Valley also operates the guided tours of Kykuit, the Rockefeller family home, in Pocantico Hills. Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts (www.lincolncenter.org/) Although Lincoln Center was built by a broad base of public and private support, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and the Rockefeller family, especially John D. Rockefeller 3rd, were principal contributors. In 1955, Lincoln Square in New York City was one more urban slum designated for clearance and redevelopment. Fourteen years later, in 1969, it stood as the first major cultural complex in the country, housing theaters, concert halls, and classrooms for nine of the nation’s most important cultural institutions – The Metropolitan Opera, the Juilliard School, the New York City Ballet, the New York City Opera, the New York Philharmonic, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Vivian Beaumont Theater, the New York Film Society, and the Library of the Performing Arts. JDR 3rd served as president of the project and a trustee of the Center (1955-1969), contributed his own funds to the project, and is credited with raising more than half of the $184.5 million in private funds needed to build the complex.
Martha Baird Rockefeller Fund for Music, 1957-1982. The second wife of John D. Rockefeller, Jr., Martha Baird Rockefeller (18951971), herself a concert pianist, established this fund in 1957 to respond to various needs she saw in the field of music. The Fund was incorporated in 1962. Its interest centered on young solo artists, who received support directly through individual grants designed to address specific problems in the early stages of a career, or indirectly through contributions to performance organizations that offered advanced training and employment in important capacities. Until Mrs. Rockefeller’s death in 1971 the Fund was supported by her annual contribution of $600,000. Her will provided for an unrestricted bequest to the Fund of $5 million, and the trustees elected to continue the program at the same level until funds were exhausted. The Fund was dissolved in 1982. Metropolitan Museum of Art (www.metmuseum.org/) Various family members and philanthropies have supported the Metropolitan, but two projects are especially significant: The Cloisters. This distinguished medieval museum was conceived and financed by John D. Rockefeller, Jr. and is operated as a division of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Opened to the public in May 1938, it is located in Fort Tryon Park, which was given to New York City by John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Michael C. Rockefeller Collection and the Department of Primitive Art Michael Clark Rockefeller, son of Nelson A. Rockefeller, disappeared on an archaeological expedition in 1961 at the age of twenty-three while collecting art and artifacts from the Asmat people of Papua, New Guinea. The wing of the Metropolitan Museum of Art that bears his name was an $18 million undertaking that, when completed in 1982, represented the museum’s renewed interest in primitive art. The majority of the Metropolitan’s primitive art collection had been relocated to the American Museum of Natural History in 1913-14. The newly acquired collection of primitive art was largely the result of the donation of the contents of the former Museum of Primitive Art by Nelson A. Rockefeller. The collaboration between Rockefeller and the Metropolitan ensured the development of a new Primitive Art Department and the naming of the proposed wing in memory of Rockefeller’s lost son. The crowning tribute to Michael C. Rockefeller was the prominent display of Asmat materials that he had collected on his journey in the South Pacific. The agreement with the museum fulfilled Nelson A. Rockefeller’s long-standing hope that a major New York City museum would one day take an interest in pre-Columbian and other primitive art.
Museum of Modern Art (www.moma.org/) The first institution in this country devoted to contemporary art, MoMA was established in 1929 through the efforts of seven founders, among them Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, the wife of John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Their purpose was “to help people study, understand, and use the visual arts of our time.” Since its founding, MoMA has had the support and interest of both the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and the Rockefeller family, whose members have contributed substantial collections, funds, and leadership to the museum. Nelson A. Rockefeller was a life-long trustee (1932-1979) and served as president twice (1939-1941, 1946-1953). Blanchette Rockefeller also was a long-time trustee (1953-1992) and two-time president (1959-1962, 1972-1985), and David Rockefeller became a trustee in 1948 and was active in MoMA’s leadership during 1962-1972 and again in 1987-1993. Museum of Primitive Art, 1954-1976. Nelson A. Rockefeller’s collection of primitive art (the art associated with ancient and/or tribal civilizations) began with the acquisition of a Sumatran knife on his honeymoon in 1930, and within a matter of years grew in such size and number as to merit an entire museum. Originally named The Museum of Indigenous Art, the purpose of the Museum of Primitive Art was expressed in its opening exhibition publication in the spring of 1957: “To establish and maintain a museum in the City of New York devoted to the artistic achievements of the indigenous civilizations of the Americas, Africa, and Oceania, and the early phases of the civilizations of Asia and Europe.” The museum opened in 1957 in a converted brownstone on West 54th Street in New York City. In 1969 the museum lent pieces to the Metropolitan Museum of Art for a show entitled, “The Art of Oceania, Africa and the Americas.” As a result of the collaboration, Nelson A. Rockefeller undertook negotiations with the Metropolitan for the development of primitive art at the Museum. In 1978 Rockefeller donated his collection to the Metropolitan under the agreement that the museum establish a new Department of Primitive Art and construct a wing to house the collection named in memory of Michael Clark Rockefeller. The Wendell Gilley Museum of Bird Carving. (www.wendellgilleymuseum.org/) Founded in 1981 by Steven Rockefeller, the Wendell Gilley Museum of Bird Carving, located in Southwest Harbor, Maine, displays the major works of Wendell Gilley, one of the pioneers in the indigenous American art form of bird carving. It also hosts workshops and demonstrations and exhibitions of wildlife art.
Conservation and the Environment
Acadia National Park (www.nps.gov/acad/) Created in 1916 out of land on Mount Desert Island in Maine and a part of the adjacent mainland, this was the first eastern national park and the first national park to be created solely from gifts of land to the government. John D. Rockefeller, Jr. was closely associated with its formation and participated actively in its subsequent development. He made land gifts of thousands of acres, and provided funds for roads, bridges, buildings, reforestation, and landscaping. American Conservation Association, 1958-present. Established in 1958 by Jackson Hole Preserve, the American Conservation Association (ACA) was designed to carry on the educational, research, and citizen action activities that the Preserve felt were beyond its own capabilities. The ACA has supplied vital finances and leadership for initiatives to protect the park, refuge, forest, and recreation resources in this country. ACA’s efforts to educate the public and secure its support have often been seminal to the establishment of important environmental and conservation organizations. American Farmland Trust (www.farmland.org/) Peggy McGrath Rockefeller was instrumental in creating this organization in 1980. The American Farmland Trust “works to stop the loss of productive farmland and to promote farming practices that lead to a healthy environment.” It helped to pioneer the development of the conservation easement to protect localities throughout the U.S. from inappropriate residential and commercial development. Greenacre Foundation, 1971-present. This vestpocket park in midtown Manhattan (51st Street between Second and Third avenues) was opened for the people of New York City by Mrs. Jean Mauzé, founder of Greenacre Foundation, on October 14, 1971, in the “hope that they will find here some moments of serenity in this busy world.” Mrs. Mauzé, the former Abby Rockefeller, dedicated the park to her brother, Laurance, and to his long-time associate, Allston Boyer, in recognition of their invaluable assistance in its creation. Jackson Hole Preserve, Inc., 1940-present. The original purposes of the Jackson Hole Preserve were to restore, protect, and preserve primitive grandeur and natural beauty for the benefit of the public; to provide for the protection, feeding, and propagation of wild game; and to
maintain the historic and scientific features of picturesque areas. Since 1940, when the preserve was founded by John D. Rockefeller, Jr. and his son Laurance, JHPI has given to the United States more than 33,000 acres of land for national parks in the Grand Tetons of Wyoming, the Virgin Islands in the Caribbean, and New York State. In addition, the preserve has built visitor facilities in these areas and contributed several million dollars to their maintenance. In 1958, Jackson Hole Preserve established a new organization, the American Conservation Association, to carry on the educational, research, and citizen action activities that the Preserve felt were beyond its own capabilities. Maine Coast Heritage Trust (www.mcht.org/) Peggy McGrath Rockefeller helped to establish this organization, which has been helping to preserve coastal and other lands distinctive to Maine since 1970. The pioneering use of “conservation easements” as well as land donation and bargain sales have allowed the Maine Coastal Heritage Trust to protect over 105,000 acres in Maine, including 315 islands. New York Zoological Society (http://wcs.org/) Founded in 1895 and renamed the Wildlife Conservation Society in 1993, the society became one of the world’s most diverse and effective nongovernmental programs in wildlife conservation, field research, resource monitoring, and environmental studies. The society encompasses the Bronx Zoo, the New York Aquarium and the Osborn Laboratories of Marine Sciences in Brooklyn. Various family members and philanthropies have supported the society, especially Laurance S. Rockefeller, a long-time trustee (1935- 1986), president (1969-1971) and chairman (1971-1985). Palisades Interstate Park Commission (www.pipc.org/). This quasi-governmental body, created in 1900 through legislative action, was entrusted with the task of establishing a park along the entire front of the Palisades from Fort Lee, New Jersey to their termination in New York State. John D. Rockefeller, John D. Rockefeller, Jr., Laurance S. Rockefeller, and Jackson Hole Preserve, Inc. helped buy land for the park and contributed to the programs of the Commission. Rockefeller State Park Preserve (www.nysparks.state.ny.us/parks/; also www.friendsrock.org/) Since 1983 more than 1,000 acres of the Rockefeller family estate near Sleepy Hollow, New York have been donated to the state of New York for public use. The park contains a variety of habitats, including wetlands, woodlands, meadows, fields and a lake. The carriage paths throughout the park make it ideal for strolling, jogging, cross-country skiing and horseback riding.
Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture (www.stonebarnscenter.org) The Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture was established by David Rockefeller and his daughter, Peggy Dulany, in honor of their wife and mother, Margaret “Peggy” Rockefeller (1915-1996), whose interests included raising cattle and preserving American farmland. Opened in May 2004 and situated on 80 acres near the family’s estate in Pocantico Hills, New York, the Stone Barns Center is a nonprofit farm and educational center designed to demonstrate, teach and promote sustainable, community-based food production. Associated with the ecologically operated farm and educational center is a restaurant, Blue Hill at Stone Barns, that, consistent with the Center’s educational mission, offers “a taste of the farm and of the bounty of the Hudson Valley.”
The Agricultural Development Council, 1953-1985. Founded by John D. Rockefeller 3rd in 1953 as the Council on Economic and Cultural Affairs, Inc., a private non-profit organization, the name was changed in 1963 to The Agricultural Development Council, but its purposes remained unchanged. In broad terms these were “charitable, scientific, and educational and designed to stimulate and support economic and related activities important to human welfare.” The Council, from its beginning, committed a major part of its resources to training and research activities in the social sciences. Its single aim was to strengthen professional capacity to deal with the economic and human problems of agricultural and rural development in Asia. In 1985 it merged with two other Rockefeller-related agricultural programs – the Winrock International Livestock Research and Training Center and the Rockefeller Foundation’s International Agricultural Development Service – to create the Winrock International Institute for Agricultural Development (see Winrock International). American International Association for Economic and Social Development, 1946-1968. AIA was established by Nelson A. Rockefeller to promote “self-development and better standards of living, together with understanding and cooperation” in Latin America. AIA worked on rural economic development and education, forming partnerships with more than 230 organizations (such as the Association of Credit and Rural Assistance, the Inter-American Council on Nutrition Education, the Council on Rural Development, and the Inter-American Popular Information Program) and government departments in thirty countries, and enrolling more than 160,000 members in rural youth clubs. When it ceased operations in 1968, AIA left behind self-sufficient vocational education programs in Venezuela and Chile, and agricultural development programs in Venezuela and Brazil.
Downtown-Lower Manhattan Association, 1958-present. David Rockefeller was instrumental in creating this organization, formed by the merger of the Downtown Manhattan Association (established in 1937) and the Committee on Lower Manhattan (established in 1957). It promoted the redevelopment of Lower Manhattan, and was largely responsible for the area’s transformation into the financial hub of the world from its previous mixed use. It also proposed the development of the World Trade Center and has promoted numerous other projects to revitalize and further develop Lower Manhattan. International Basic Economy Corporation, 1947-1985. Although not a philanthropy, the International Basic Economy Corporation (IBEC), founded by Nelson A. Rockefeller in 1947, had as one of its purposes the promotion of economic development in developing countries. It operated on the premise that a private American business corporation that focused on developing the “basic economies” of developing countries could turn a profit and encourage others, especially nationals in those countries, to establish competitive businesses. During 1947-1955, IBEC established a subsidiary in Venezuela that formed companies in the fishing, wholesale grocery (and later retail supermarket), and milk industries. IBEC also established five agricultural companies in Brazil and invested modestly in Brazilian manufacturing and investment banking. During 1956-1971, IBEC vastly expanded its activities, entering such fields as mutual funds, housing, coffee, and poultry, and working in thirty-three countries on four continents. By 1972, the subsidiaries and joint ventures were reorganized into five operating groups: food, housing, distribution, industrial, and financial services. The company began a divestment program in 1973; by 1980, when it merged with Booker McConnell Limited, its primary activities were related to agriculture. The name of the company was changed to Arbor Acres Farm, Inc. in 1985 (see www.aaf.com/). International Executive Service Corps (www.iesc.org/) David Rockefeller proposed the idea that American business managers be sent (voluntarily) to help businesses in developing areas. Over the next year, he and a number of other businessmen developed the plan for this organization, and its establishment was announced by President Lyndon Johnson in June of 1964. Volunteer businessmen with managerial skills help private businesses in developing countries and emerging democracies become competitive by introducing them to new markets, technologies, services, and opportunities, as well as providing links to American business for continued (mutual) growth. Since its establishment, the International Executive Service Corps has grown to become “the largest, most experienced and effective not-for-profit organization of its kind in the world.”
New York City Partnership (www.nycp.org/) Created by David Rockefeller in 1979, the New York City Partnership is a coalition of leaders from among the city’s major corporations, nonprofit organizations, and educational institutions working in partnership with government agencies on issues of economic development, education and housing. Among its achievements are a summer employment program for low-income youth and the development of housing for middle-income families. Synergos Institute (www.synergos.org/) Founded in 1986 by Peggy Dulany, daughter of David Rockefeller, the Synergos Institute describes itself as “an independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to developing effective, sustainable, and locally based solutions to global poverty, particularly in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.” It seeks to connect those with needs to those with resources and expertise in a manner that is both culturally sensitive and cognizant of the local context of problems, casting off the assumption that experts from the developed world have ready-made answers for those in poorer nations. Winrock International (www.winrock.org/) When Winthrop Rockefeller died in 1973, he challenged the trustees of his estate to be “venturesome and innovative” in using his bequest to develop institutions to help people help themselves. In 1975 the trustees established the Winrock International Livestock Research and Training Center, focusing on research and training in farming. In 1985 it merged with two other Rockefeller-related agricultural programs – John D. Rockefeller 3rd’s Agricultural Development Council and the Rockefeller Foundation’s International Agricultural Development Service – to create the Winrock International Institute for Agricultural Development. In 1999 Winrock International described its goal as “to increase economic opportunity, sustain natural resources, and protect the environment.”
China Medical Board of New York, Inc. (www.iime.org/cmb.htm) Established in November 1914 as a division of the Rockefeller Foundation (RF), the China Medical Board (CMB) was incorporated as an independent philanthropy in 1928. The Board was formed to manage the RF’s developing interests in medicine and medical education in China. In 1915 the foundation bought the Union Medical College in Peking, which had been founded by Protestant missionaries in 1906. Development and support of the new Peking Union Medical College (PUMC) gradually became the primary interest of the China Medical Board. PUMC began to offer pre-medical classes in 1917; the College
was formally opened in 1921. In 1928 the China Medical Board, Inc. was incorporated as an independent philanthropy and received from the RF ownership of the land and buildings of the PUMC and an endowment of $12 million. Until the outbreak of the war with Japan in 1941, the CMB, Inc. devoted its entire budget to the PUMC. While the PUMC was occupied by the Japanese, however, the Board provided aid to medical institutions in unoccupied China, helped PUMC undergraduates to continue their studies elsewhere, and maintained the nursing school in Chengtu (Zhengdu). Following the war, the PUMC served as the executive headquarters of General Marshall’s peace commission until April 1947, when the Board resumed its support. By May 1948 the medical school, nursing school, and the hospital had resumed operation, but in January 1951, the People’s Republic of China nationalized the PUMC. Unable to continue its support of the PUMC or its activities on the mainland, the Board undertook a broadened program of assistance to medical, public health, and nursing schools in many Far Eastern countries, and, to a lesser degree, to similar institutions in the U.S. In 1955 the CMB, Inc. changed its name to the China Medical Board of New York, Inc. General Education Board, 1903-1964. The General Education Board (GEB) was established by John D. Rockefeller to aid education in the U.S. “without distinction of race, sex or creed.” Organized in 1902 by Frederick T. Gates, Rockefeller’s philanthropic advisor, and John D. Rockefeller, Jr., the GEB was chartered by an act of Congress in 1903. Rockefeller’s gifts to the GEB began with a $1 million gift in 1902, followed by $10 million in 1905, $32 million in 1907 and another $10 million gift in 1909. His gifts to the GEB eventually totaled $129 million, which, through investments, provided the Board with $324.6 million to spend on education before it ceased operations in 1964. Its program included grants for endowment and general budgetary support of colleges and universities, support for special programs, fellowship and scholarship assistance to state school systems at all levels, and development of social and economic resources as a route to improved educational systems. Major colleges and universities across the U.S., as well as many small institutions in every state, received aid from the Board. The emphasis, however, was on the South and the education of African-Americans. Offices were established in Richmond, Virginia and Baton Rouge, Louisiana to give GEB agents closer contact with southern communities. The Board was especially active in promoting the public school movement in the early part of the 20th century. After 1940, programs other than those for southern education were brought to a close; funds were nearly exhausted by the 1950s, and the last appropriation was made in 1964.
International Education Board, 1923-1938. Founded in January 1923 by John D. Rockefeller, Jr., for “the promotion and advancement of education throughout the world,” the Board granted fellowships to hundreds of individuals and made grants to numerous institutions in thirty-nine countries. Its main fields of interest were science and agriculture, but some appropriations were made in the humanities and social sciences. The main period of activity was between 1923 and 1928; the IEB terminated its work in December 1938. Rockefeller Archaeological Museum, Jerusalem (www.imj.org.il/eng/branches/rockefeller/) Formerly the Palestine Archaeological Museum, the museum opened to the public in January 1938. The museum was funded by a $2 million contribution from John D. Rockefeller, Jr., and construction was handled by the British. With artifacts dating between one million years ago and 1700, its exhibits focus on the cultural history of the region, including artifacts from the three major religions (Judaism, Christianity and Islam) that have shaped the course of the history in the area. Spelman College (www.spelman.edu/) The Rockefellers did not establish Spelman College, which was founded in 1881 in Atlanta to provide practical training for African-American girls and women, but the school’s history is inextricably entwined in the development of Rockefeller philanthropy. In 1884 John D. Rockefeller and his wife, Laura Spelman Rockefeller, gave the school – then known as the Atlanta Baptist Female Seminary – the financial support that enabled the school to remain one dedicated to the education of women. Out of gratitude the founders renamed the school to honor the Spelman family. Over the next century, members of the Rockefeller family and their philanthropies provided significant financial support for the school. Rockefeller gifts built the school’s administration building, as well as several others on campus. Members of the Rockefeller family served on the board of trustees into the 1990s, making Spelman College the institution with which the Rockefeller family has had the longest continuing relationship. United Negro College Fund (www.uncf.org/) In 1943 Dr. Frederick D. Patterson, president of Tuskegee, proposed the idea of a joint fund-raising organization to conduct an annual campaign to build financial support for African-American colleges in the U.S. Organized in 1944, the UNCF grew to embrace more than forty fully accredited private historically black colleges, all but one in the South. The General Education Board and John D. Rockefeller, Jr. were early supporters of the UNCF, and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and other members of the family also have provided support.
University of Chicago (www.uchicago.edu/) The University of Chicago was founded in 1890 by John D. Rockefeller, working through the American Baptist Education Society. Rockefeller’s support for the university in its formative years – his donations between 1889 and 1910 totaled $35 million – funded the ambitious visions of the university’s first president, William Rainey Harper, and it was quickly recognized as one of the top educational institutions in the country. It pioneered in the Junior College, extension courses, university publications, the “Four Quarter” system, and social service administration. Rockefeller’s contributions were usually on a contingent basis, thus ensuring that others took an interest in the University and helping to build a broad base of support. Throughout the 20th century, various Rockefeller philanthropies funded specific projects at the university The Oriental Institute (oi.uchicago.edu/OI/). This semiautonomous adjunct of the University of Chicago grew out of John D. Rockefeller, Jr.’s interest in the work of Dr. James H. Breasted, a scholar who was an early proponent of the idea that the ancient Near East played an important role in the rise of western civilization. Breasted’s field work and lectures played a leading role in introducing America to the ancient Near East. In 1919 JDR Jr. funded the Oriental Institute as a laboratory for the study of the rise and development of ancient civilization; he also funded a new headquarters for the Institute, opened in 1931, that contained laboratories, museum galleries, libraries and office space. Maintaining a widespread program of excavations, research and publications, the Oriental Institute became a leading center for the study of ancient history and languages.
Americas Society (www.americas-society.org/as/index.htm) In 1981 the Americas Society was established to coordinate the activities of various institutions in the Americas concerned with relations between the nations and peoples in the hemisphere. Among its affiliate institutions was the Center for Inter-American Relations, which had been established in 1965 by David Rockefeller and other businessmen to bring together business and professional people in the Americas to discuss mutual interests and problems. Its programs and information services covered public affairs, literature, and the visual and performing arts, and its constituents include artists, businessmen, government officials, educators, and writers from all countries in the hemisphere. Also in 1965 the Council on Latin America (later the Council of the Americas) was formed as the lobbying agent for the Center. The Council promotes the free market and private enterprise as the means to attain economic
growth and prosperity; it played a key role in the passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement and has been an active proponent of the Free Trade Area of the Americas. In 1985-1986 the Center for Inter-American Relations was incorporated into the Americas Society and its Public Affairs and Cultural programs were continued. Asia Society, Inc. (www.asiasociety.org/) The society, founded by John D. Rockefeller 3rd in 1956, is dedicated to helping Americans gain a better grasp of the values, achievements, points of view, and frustrations of the majority of the human race who live in Asia, from Iran and Afghanistan on the west to Japan on the east. The society’s program is a broad one. It includes the administration of several area and country councils and a center in Washington, D.C., a variety of seminars and meetings on cultural, economic, and political issues, a lively schedule of art exhibitions at its headquarters in New York, and the publication of books, reports and catalogues spanning a broad range of topics in contemporary affairs, education and the visual arts. Asian Cultural Council (www.asianculturalcouncil.org/) The Asian Cultural Council’s grant program was created in 1963 by John D. Rockefeller 3rd as part of the JDR 3rd Fund. The Council was established as a publicly supported operating foundation in 1980, and has been formally affiliated with the Rockefeller Brothers Fund since 1991. Between 1963 and 2000, the ACC grant program provided grant assistance to more than 3,100 Asian and American individuals in the arts and humanities. The ACC supports cultural exchange in the visual and performing arts between the United States and the countries of Asia. The major focus of the ACC’s grant programs is on providing individual fellowship awards to artists, scholars, students, and specialists from Asia undertaking research, study, travel, and creative work in the United States. Some grants are also awarded to Americans engaged in similar activities in Asia and to arts organizations and educational institutions for specific projects of particular significance to Asian-American cultural exchange. In addition, the ACC awards a small number of grants in support of regional exchange activities in Asia. Funding for the Council’s programs is derived from a combination of endowment income and contributions from individuals, foundations, government agencies, and corporations in the United States and in Asia. International House, New York (www.ihouse-nyc.org/) The idea for the creation of International House was born in a story relayed to John D. Rockefeller, Jr. in the early 1920s about a Chinese student at Columbia University whose reply to a casual greeting was unusually effusive. It turned out
that he had been in the U.S. for three weeks and had not been greeted by anyone. JDR Jr.’s response was to found International House to overcome the loneliness of individual foreign students in New York City. By 1924, International House had its own building on Riverside Drive, constructed expressly to house students from all races and countries. Japan Society, Inc. (www.japansociety.org/) Although the society dates back to 1907, when it was founded to help interested New Yorkers meet and learn about the Japanese, it was in 1952, well after the Second World War, that the reconstituted Japan Society began to grow as a significant bi-national organization. John D. Rockefeller 3rd played a major role in its revitalization. In an effort to narrow the cultural distance between Japan and the U.S., the society carries on a number of programs. It conducts seminars, conferences, and special meetings at its New York City headquarters on current political and economic topics; arranges exhibitions of Japanese art; produces pamphlets to introduce visitors to Japan and publishes several new translations of Japanese literature each year; circulates Japanese films and radio and television programs; carries on efforts to help improve the orientation of American businessmen who are assigned to and who deal with Japan; promotes intellectual and cultural exchanges; and maintains a library and information service about Japan. Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation (www.rmaf.org.ph/) When Philippine president Ramon Magsaysay was killed in an airplane crash in 1957, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund established the Raymond Magsaysay awards program with a half-million dollar gift. The gift supported an awards program with the monetary prize designed to be a “living memorial” to Magsaysay by acknowledging individuals and agencies in Asia who exemplified his “greatness of spirit, integrity and devotion to freedom.” The awards, first made in 1958, came to be seen as “the Nobel Prizes of Asia” and they continue to be given annually in the fields of: government service; public service; community leadership; peace and international understanding; journalism, literature and creative communication arts; and emergent leadership. The Trust for Mutual Understanding (www.tmuny.org/) The Trust for Mutual Understanding was established in 1984 by an anonymous donor as a private, grant-making organization dedicated to promoting improved communication, closer cooperation, and greater respect between the people of the U.S., the Soviet Union, and other countries in Eastern and Central Europe. It makes grants to American nonprofit organizations conducting international cultural and environmental exchanges in partnership with institutions and individuals in Russia and Eastern and Central Europe.
The United Nations (www.un.org/) In 1946, Nelson A. Rockefeller played a significant role in arranging for the headquarters of the United Nations to be located in New York City. The key to the deal was John D. Rockefeller, Jr.’s purchase, for $8,500,000, of six Manhattan blocks on the East River between 42nd and 46th Streets for the site of the United Nations. He also had contributed $2,000,000 to build and endow the library of The League of Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, which opened in 1936.
Medicine and Public Health
International Health Board, 1913-1951. Established by action of The Rockefeller Foundation for the original purpose of extending the work of the Rockefeller Sanitary Commission for the Eradication of Hookworm Disease to foreign countries, the Board’s program was broadened to include other health problems in many nations. Reorganized as the International Health Division in 1929, it worked to combat yellow fever, malaria, tuberculosis, and other diseases around the world, and helped to develop the public health infrastructure in many nations. Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (www.mskcc.org/) One of the most important cancer treatment and research centers in the world, Memorial Sloan-Kettering has been built almost entirely with private funds, a significant portion of which have come from the Rockefeller family and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund. Built on property in New York City that was contributed in 1935 by John D. Rockefeller, Jr., the center combines hospital care with clinical and basic research. The original building housed just Memorial Hospital, which had been moved from another location to bring it closer to New York Hospital across the street. In 1945, the Sloan-Kettering Institute was founded as a basic research center and added to the hospital, and in 1960, the Cancer Center was formed as a coordinating body for both the hospital and the institute. Laurance S. Rockefeller’s leadership was central to the development of the center: he served as a trustee and president of Memorial Hospital, trustee of the institute, and chairman of the center’s board and executive committee. Rockefeller Sanitary Commission for the Eradication of Hookworm Disease, 1909-1914. The Rockefeller Sanitary Commission was established in 1909 by John D. Rockefeller “to bring about a cooperative movement of the medical profession, public health officials, boards of trade, churches, schools, the press, and other agencies for the cure and prevention of hookworm disease.” From its offices in Washington, D.C., the Commission furnished the initial impetus for the public
health campaign against hookworm, and provided states with relevant information about the disease, its treatment, and its prevention. It paid the salaries of field personnel, who were appointed jointly by the states and the Commission, and sponsored public education campaigns and the treatment of infected persons. Although some of the programs lasted until June 1915, the Commission’s work ended formally in 1914, and the property and records were transferred to the Rockefeller Foundation, whose International Health Board succeeded the Sanitary Commission and expanded its public health work abroad. The Rockefeller University (www.rockefeller.edu/) Originally named The Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research, the Rockefeller University opened in 1901. It grew out of concerns on the part of philanthropic advisor Frederick T. Gates and John D. Rockefeller, Jr. about the lack of scientific research into the cause and cure of diseases. Medicine, according to a report at the time, “as generally taught and practiced in the United States [is] practically futile . . . . [It] can hardly hope to become a science until it can be endowed and qualified men enabled to give themselves to uninterrupted study and investigation, on ample salary, entirely independent of practice.” The Rockefeller Institute’s scattered research projects were brought together on a single campus (York Avenue between 64th and 68th streets in Manhattan) in 1906. John D. Rockefeller, Jr. and David Rockefeller took a special interest in the Institute. David joined the board of trustees in 1940 and, as chairman, oversaw the Institute’s transformation into Rockefeller University in 1954. The University awarded its first Ph.D. degrees in 1959. Over the years, its staff has included twenty-one Nobel Laureates.
Baptist Churches and Schools. John D. Rockefeller channeled much of his charitable giving in the late 19th century through the Baptist church, using such organizations as the American Baptist Home Mission Society and the American Baptist Education Society to help build churches and schools throughout the country. Between 1879 and 1903, he gave the Home Mission Society more than $600,000 for churches and mission work, and he provided support to about 220 individual Baptist churches and missionary organizations, as well as to about eighty institutions of other denominations. He also was concerned about Baptist education. In addition to the University of Chicago and Spelman College, he provided nearly $540,000 to thirty-two other Baptist colleges and universities through the ABES during the 1890s.
Riverside Church (www.theriversidechurchny.org/) Riverside Church was one of the deepest interests of John D. Rockefeller, Jr., a trustee of the church (1929-1949) and an active participant in its development from a Baptist church to an interdenominational center serving worshippers of all faiths. It was in many respects a radical institution for its time, a vigorous example of the ecumenical movement that JDR Jr. encouraged and supported. In 1930 the church moved into a complex built for it on Riverside Drive, where it has served as both a national forum and local parish. It attracted the intellectual community of Morningside Heights and the cluster of institutions located there – Columbia University, Barnard College and Union Theological Seminary in particular – and at the same time reached out to the growing number of minority residents in the area. Union Church of Pocantico Hills (www.hudsonvalley.org/web/unio-main.html) An outgrowth of the Pocantico Hills Society for Christian Work, the nondenominational Union Church was founded in 1915. It is graced with a rose window by Henri Matisse and nine windows by Marc Chagall, gifts from members of the Rockefeller family.
Bureau of Social Hygiene, Inc., 1913-1940. The Bureau of Social Hygiene was incorporated by John D. Rockefeller, Jr., in 1913 as a result of his service on a special grand jury to investigate white slavery in New York City in 1910. The purpose of the Bureau was “the study, amelioration, and prevention of those social conditions, crimes, and diseases which adversely affect the well-being of society, with special reference to prostitution and the evils associated therewith.” A grant-making agency that emphasized research and education, the Bureau did not have an endowment but was dependent on financial backing from the Rockefeller Foundation, the Spelman Fund of New York, the New York Foundation, and individuals such as Paul Warburg and John D. Rockefeller, Jr., the main contributor. From 1911 to 1928, the Bureau’s main targets were prostitution, vice, narcotics, and police corruption. Between 1928 and 1934, the Bureau shifted its emphasis towards criminology, crime reporting, juvenile delinquency, social hygiene, and narcotics. The Bureau ceased making new appropriations in 1934, and by mid-1937 all previous commitments had been brought to a close.
The Davison Fund, Inc., 1930-1942. John D. Rockefeller, Jr. established the Davison Fund in 1930 to systematize his personal giving. The instrument creating the Fund contained neither instruction as to beneficiaries nor limitation as to field. In general, the program developed from two motivations: an interest in the social, cultural, educational, and health needs of New York City and its environs; and the recognition of the importance of “certain problems which cut across national and international boundaries and which invite the cooperation and support of thoughtful men everywhere.” The dominant interests of the Fund were child welfare, medicine and health, relief of distress, and the improvement of social conditions. It also attempted to improve the standards of agencies which provided aid to the indigent. Religion and “projects soundly conceived for the benefit of the Negro either in the field of direct social service or through those media which seek to improve relationships between the races” were continuing fields of interest. Fund of the Four Directions, 1990-present This national Native American foundation, based in New York City, developed from the philanthropic work of Ann Rockefeller Roberts. Founded in 1990, the Fund sought to promote constructive social change at the grassroots level by funding three program areas: Environment/Environmental Justice; Social Justice; and Native Americans. After Ingrid Washinawatok El-Issa became the Fund’s program director in 1992, the Fund gave increasing attention to issues confronting indigenous communities. Over the years the Fund’s leaders began to consider establishing a philanthropic foundation led by Native Americans and operated according to their ethics, values, and concepts. In 1998 they decided to, in Ann Roberts’ words, “transform and recreate a Fund that would be directed by Native people for their own benefit.” In 1999 the Fund of the Four Directions became a national Native American foundation governed by a largely Native American Board and directed by Ingrid Washinwatok El-Issa. Tragically, El-Issa and two companions were killed by Colombian revolutionaries in February 1999 during a visit to an indigenous education program for U’wa children in Colombia. Despite the tragic death of its founding executive director, the Fund’s program continues to evolve in the directions she helped chart. Ann Roberts is no longer involved with its activities. Housing Interests. In the 1920s John D. Rockefeller, Jr. began what would become a $10 million experimental investment in housing. JDR Jr. believed that decent, affordable housing for people of modest means could be built at a profit of 6%. He hoped that other developers and investors would follow his example. On many of his projects the architect was Andrew J. Thomas, whose work popularized the garden
apartment design. In Manhattan JDR Jr. and Thomas built the Lavoisier Apartments at 67th and 68th streets just east of Park Avenue, and apartment buildings on York Avenue between 65th and 66th streets. They also built the Thomas Garden Apartments in the Bronx, the Paul Laurence Dunbar Apartments in Harlem, the Van Tassel Apartments in North Tarrytown (now Sleepy Hollow), New York, and apartments in Bayonne, New Jersey. JDR Jr. also built Forest Hill Estates on part of the family’s former estate in Cleveland; this series of homes was designed for an upper-middle class clientele. The onset of the Great Depression severely hampered Rockefeller’s reformist goals for these projects, for unemployment and diminished wages meant that few working-class people could become apartment owners as Rockefeller envisioned. At the Dunbar Apartments in Harlem, for example, economic conditions prompted Rockefeller to abandon the plan to sell the apartments and change to a rental plan. Even the Forest Hill homes sold slowly. In the 1950s and 1960s the Rockefellers returned to the field of housing when Nelson A. Rockefeller’s International Basic Economy Corporation (IBEC) established the IBEC Housing Corporation. The Housing Corporation built low-cost houses, prefabricated in concrete, in large developments in Norfolk, Virginia; Iraq; Iran; Peru and Chile. Laura Spelman Rockefeller Memorial, 1918-1929. The LSRM, formed in October 1918 by John D. Rockefeller and named for his late wife, operated from the office of John D. Rockefeller, Jr. with a fluid program until 1922, when Beardsley Ruml was named director and developed a long-range program with special interests in child study, education, public health, race relations, religion, social studies, and social welfare. In 1929, the LSRM was consolidated with the Rockefeller Foundation and made a final grant of $10 million to the Spelman Fund of New York to continue still-active grants that the RF could not administer. National Urban League (www.nul.org/) Nancy Weiss, a historian of the Urban League, has called supporting the national and local branches of the league a Rockefeller “family tradition.” The National League on Urban Conditions Among Negroes was formed in 1911 to provide social services to African- Americans moving from the South to northern industrial cities, and the following year John D. Rockefeller, Jr. and his father provided financial support. The Laura Spelman Rockefeller Memorial provided support during the 1920s, along with JDR Jr.; during the 1930s his sons also became supporters, as did the Rockefeller Brothers Fund in the 1940s. In 1952 a gift from Winthrop Rockefeller enabled the League to acquire a new building for its national headquarters.
The Population Council, Inc. (www.popcouncil.org/) When this organization was established in 1952, there was growing but fragmented concern about the problems of population. Very early in the century, as scientists and such crusaders as Margaret Sanger were beginning their work in this area, John D. Rockefeller, Jr. and later his son, John D. Rockefeller 3rd, became interested in maternal health, family planning, birth control laws, and reproduction research. By 1934 JDR 3rd had taken up the subject of population as one of his major concerns. In 1952 he created the Population Council and was its chairman until 1978, when he became chairman emeritus. The council was formed “to stimulate, encourage, promote, conduct, and support significant activities in the broad field of population” and to call the attention of world leaders and policymakers to this field. During the 1960s JDR 3rd actively promoted family planning to leaders in the underdeveloped world and became a widely known public advocate for population control, raising awareness of the issue in the U.S. and around the world. Rockefeller Public Service Award. “It seems imperative that every effort should be made to encourage competent civilians to enter Federal service as a career and to stimulate the sustained interest, growth, and development of those already in service,” John D. Rockefeller 3rd wrote in 1951. In 1952 he established the Rockefeller Public Service Award, administered by Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, to provide support for government employees to take a sabbatical and pursue additional training. The successful program helped build support for the Government Employees Training Act, which passed through Congress and was signed into law in 1958. The Rockefeller Public Service Award program continued, in different forms, until its funding expired a few years after JDR 3rd’s death. Spelman Fund of New York, 1928-1949. The Spelman Fund of New York was incorporated on December 27, 1928, with a grant of $10 million from the Laura Spelman Rockefeller Memorial, which was being merged with the Rockefeller Foundation. The Spelman Fund was established for “charitable, scientific and educational purposes, including the advancement and diffusion of knowledge concerning child life, the improvement of inter-racial relations, and cooperation with public agencies.” Although the Fund completed the administration of grants previously made by the Laura Spelman Rockefeller Memorial, the main program was in public administration and intergovernmental relations. Programs were designed to improve technical knowledge, promote exchange of knowledge and experience, and discover improved methods of organization. The Fund was dissolved in 1949.
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